Seasonal Allergies: 4 Routes to Relief

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Ah, fall. The perfect time to get outside for long walks in the neighborhood, hikes in the hills, and autumn gardening.

But that “ah” can quickly become “ah-choo” if you’re one of the 36 million Americans with seasonal allergy problems. The allergy season will be is an inexact science, but there are some general links with weather, says Gary Rachelefsky, MD, a staff allergist at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital. “Usually when there is more rain, there is more eyes. On vacation and at home, wear medications, some over-the-counter and some needing a prescription, to improve your seasonal allergies. Many are approved for use in children. A home remedy, nasal lavage, may help, too.

Topical nasal sprays, available by prescription, work well, says Georgeson. “They actually reduce the inflammation in the lining of the nose,” she says. Examples are tongue, using the same concept as the allergy shots but with a different and more convenient delivery system.

4. Beware of Foods That Trigger Your Symptoms

If you have seasonal allergies to ragweed, be aware that eating certain foods may trigger your symptoms. “This is the concept of oral allergy syndrome,” Bassett says.

It’s a double-whammy, he says. About one-third of people with fall seasonal allergies will have a cross-reaction to certain foods, he says. Foods that might provoke symptoms in those with ragweed allergies, according to AAAAI, include bananas, cucumbers, melons, zucchini, sunflower seeds, and chamomile tea.